Saturday, July 4, 2015

Duplicating this discussion in different cities

I included this map of Minneapolis in a 2014 article on the Tutor/Mentor Blog.

Today I read a article, titled The Changing Face of the Heartland: Preparing America’s Diverse Workforce for Tomorrow. It's a long article, but full of maps and charts and ideas that a relevant in Chicago and every other urban area of the country. This article not only focuses on the economic need to find ways to parepar minorities for greater roles in the workforce, but talks about the type of long term philanthropic support needed to achieve desired outcomes.

One quote from the article says "We’re not talking about a pilot program or a two-year effort. … We’re talking about a 5–10 year commitment, and [dollar] numbers much bigger than what you might have had in mind. … "

We need this type of discussion, with the same use of maps, in every city. If you can point to a site where a similar article focuses on Chicago, please share it.

If you don't have the daily bulletin sent to you, I encourage you to subscribe. Some of the best writing on opportunity and equality that I've found.

Thursday, June 25, 2015

Mapping Event Participation as Part of Building Network

I've signed up to participate in the 2015 Connected Learning MOOC (#CLMOOC2015) and added myself to their participation map. You can zoom into this map to see who is participating from different parts of the world. I zoom into Chicago with the hope of seeing more than a few people on the map who might be taking advantage of this learning and networking opportunity.

Since 2013 I've been participating in MOOCs like this, and sharing the idea of mapping participation. The map at the left is from a Deeper Learning MOOC. It's on a different mapping platform than the #CLMOOC, but it works the same way. Zoom in to see who is participating. Again, too few people from the Chicago region.

I've been hosting Tutor/Mentor Conference in Chicago as part of an overall strategy aimed at bringing people together who would work to help mentor-rich non-school tutor/mentor programs become available in more of the high poverty neighborhoods of Chicago. I've created concept maps to show the range of talent needed to achieve the goals I've stated. In recent years I've used maps to show participation of past conferences. Click here to see these.

During Jan-April 2015 students participating in an Information Visualization MOOC hosted by Indiana University looked at participation for all T/MC conferences from 1994-2011 and began creating some participation maps. Click here to read the story and see the report produced by this team.

In the past couple of weeks I've participated in events that connect people from around the world, and throughout the US, via Twitter and live streaming video, and traditional face-to-face settings. These included the Global Cities Summit and the Independent Sectors Threads events. As I've participated in these events, now, and in past years, my first question is "Why aren't they mapping participation" using GIS maps and Social Network Analysis?

My second question is, "How could we influence more people to do this?" In many of these there is a lot of talk about collaboration, sharing ideas, and working together to solve problems. Yet, when I visit most web sites, the information they share is usually the information they produce. Few point to information of others, such as I do from Tutor/Mentor Connection and Tutor/Mentor Institute, LLC web sites.

I created a new concept map today, pointing to organizations who are mapping data to show indicators of need. Creating a visual understanding of where poverty is most concentrated, or where water is most scarce, can help mobilize attention and focus more people on possible solutions. Instead of just pointing to your own maps, why not point to maps and data available on dozens of other platforms. That's what I do.

Drawing more users to these data sites, and teaching more people to create map stories that increase understanding and expand the number of people involved, should be a strategy of all of these different organizations. Using maps to show who is participating, how often they participate, and who is still absent from the conversation, could be part of a long-term coalition-building strategy intended to draw more of the talent and networks needed to raise funds, increase votes and build and sustain solutions in the different areas that maps highlight as areas of need.

Sunday, June 7, 2015

Mapping Foreign Aid. Who Gives? Who Gets?

This map is from a data platform called, which is collecting and mapping data on foreign aid given by US and other countries. This article on provides an introduction.

This is an exciting use of data and mapping.

I'd like to see someone build a tool that offers the same features, but maps cities throughout the US and shows aid to poverty neighborhoods. Click on the Philanthropy tag and see some sites I've pointed to who are beginning to do work mapping donations in the US.

Visit the Tutor/Mentor Institute wiki section on uses of maps. If you're interested in supporting our own goals, let's connect.

Wednesday, May 13, 2015

Big City Poverty - Baltimore not Alone.

This image is from this Brookings report article, titled "Good fortune, dire poverty, and inequality in Baltimore: An American story".

It shows that the conditions of inequality and concentrated poverty that contributed to the Baltimore riots this spring are present in many major US cities. To me, this means each city should have a Tutor/Mentor Connection strategy, which is outlined in the concept maps shared in articles on this blog, and on pages of the Tutor/Mentor Institute, LLC web site.

This map shows a long-term commitment every leader in a city needs to adopt, and demonstrate in their actions. If you follow the lines on the concept map, the line in the center points to this four-part strategy, which supports the involvement of leaders with information they can use to reach youth and families in all high poverty areas of any city.

Friday, May 1, 2015

Solving Poverty. Who Needs to Be Involved?

If you're trying to build a team to solve a problem, you need to attract people who have the talent and skills needed, or who can recruit others who have needed skills. I've created concept maps and visualizations such as the one at the left to serve as a worksheet that I and others can use to recruit needed talent.

Building this team requires a constant process of invitation, via social media, newsletters, one-on-one networking, etc. Unless you are able to fill key talent roles, you end up doing necessary work on your own. If you don't have needed talents, you struggle.

I've hosted Tutor/Mentor Leadership and Networking Conferences in Chicago, every six months since May 1994. The goal is to attract people with talent, skills and civic reach who will help volunteer-based tutor/mentor programs grow in all high poverty neighborhoods, as part of their own commitment to reduce poverty, improve opportunity, fill workforce needs, etc. See how maps can be used by reading other articles on this blog.

In an effort to help people who attend connect with each other I launched an on-line attendee list in 2007. I started using GIS maps a couple of years ago to show where people came from, and what group they were part of (business, philanthropy, programs, etc.) In 2010 an intern from DePaul University use a Social Network Analysis (SNA) tool to create maps showing participation in 2008 and 2009 conferences. You can read her map-stories here.

I've not had consistent talent to do this work so was delighted when invited to be a client for a 2015 Information Visualization MOOC hosted by Indiana University.

The team has finished their work and this is one visualization that was created. You can see it and other visualizations in this final report. I encourage you to visit this page on the Tutor/Mentor Connection forum to learn more of this project and see work that was done.

Why is this important? As a nation we are not very good at pulling people together and building a long-term focus on solving complex problems. Read more.

While my organization has always been small, it's even smaller since 2011. Thus, the few people I can gather at Tutor/Mentor Conferences are a small sample of the talent and networks who need to be supporting the growth of mentor rich programs in all poverty neighborhoods of the Chicago region (or other cities), and helping kids in these programs move through school and into jobs.

My goal is that organizers of other events focused on the same issues begin to follow my example, and create maps that show who's participating, what neighborhoods are represented, and who else needs to be involved. If you're already doing this, share your maps; connect your network. By mapping participation over many years, which is what I'm trying to show since I've been hosting conferences since 1994, we should be able to show if people are staying involved, or if involvement grows over time. This information should lead to more support for those who do this well, and more lessons for others who need to do it well.

My next conference is Friday, May 8 and it will have a small turnout.. unless readers share this and encourage others to attend. If you'd like to work with the same data the IVMOOC students were working with, and create more maps and analysis of the Tutor/Mentor Conferences, please contact me.

Visit the Tutor/Mentor Institute Blog and read more about network building, complex problem solving, etc.

Tuesday, April 28, 2015

Mapping Strategies in Response to Baltimore Riots

It was easy for me to do a Google search and find a map showing the widespread rioting in Baltimore.

I did a search to find a map showing tutor/mentor programs in Baltimore, and while I found program lists hosted by Johns Hopkins University and by the Montgomery County Network of Care, I did not see a map showing where existing programs are located, or being used to mobilize leaders to help mentor-rich programs grow in all high poverty areas of the region.

I posted a blog article this morning showing how cities like Chicago and probably others have never had a comprehensive battle plan to distribute programs, resources and opportunities into the high poverty areas of their cities. I also focused on this in the eMail newsletter I shared today.

I've been piloting a map-based tutor/mentor program locator since 2004, which not only shows where existing tutor/mentor programs are located, but breaks this down by age group served, and type of program. It also includes layers of information showing indicators of need, such as poverty and poorly performing schools. And it shows who should be helping (assets), such as banks, churches, universities, etc. It even has layers showing political districts.

I posted this 1998 presentation on Slideshare this week, showing work I've been trying to do in Chicago to support the growth of mentor-rich programs in all high poverty neighborhood. The map-directory is just one part of a comprehensive on-going strategy....which never has been consistently funded or supported by civic leaders in Chicago.

I encourage leaders in other cities to consider this as a NEW idea which they could implement with much greater impact than I've had in Chicago. I'd also like to find volunteers, partners and benefactors who'd help me upgrade the program locator and other projects I'm working on.

I noticed that Johns Hopkins University Hospital is in the middle of the riot area. In the 1990s they were the lead hospital in a Hospital Youth Mentoring Network. I attended a conference they hosted in 2002 and they attended the Tutor/Mentor Conference a year earlier. I'd like to connect with someone who'd bring the Tutor/Mentor Institute into the university, where the ideas I've been building for over 40 years can be taught to a generation of future leaders.